Nigeria might soon get a Commission to rebuild its Middle-Belt from the ruins of recent violent attacks and other disasters in the region.
The Bill for the establishment of the North Central Development Commission was passed on second reading by Senate on Thursday.
The Bill jointly sponsored by Senators Abba Moro of Benue South, Gabriel Suswan of Benue North and Istifanus Gyang of Plateau North seeks to fix the region’s infrastructure, agricultural and mineral resources as well as rehabilitate communities affected by violence.
Specifically, the bill, as Senator Gyang puts it, will, “Target development of agriculture and agro allied industries and the development of the mining industry.”
It will in Gyang’s words, facilitate the construction of a railway linking Jos-Akwanga-Abuja and other “critical” infrastructure.
Similarly, the proposed commission, Gyang says will undertake the rebuilding, reconstruction and reintegration of displaced communities; Undertake the rehabilitation of victims of violence through skills acquisition, scholarships and business grants especially for widows and orphans.
The region comprising States of Kwara, Niger, Kogi, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau and the Federal capital has the highest number of ethnic minorities, it is believed.
It is also thought to be the most agriculturally viable region with the largest exports of exotic fruits, tuber and cash crops.
The zone is equally said to house the highest concentration of solid minerals that have yet to be exploited due to lack of resources and security.
The proposed North Central Development bill is expected to function like the Northeast and Niger Delta Development Commissions.